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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Water, Air, and Soil

The edible black poplar mushroom, Agrocybe aegerita. Forest ServiceSnapshot : Forest fungi perform an essential role in recycling woody plant debris and have many potential applications in biotechnology. In 2009, a Forest Products Laboratory chemist worked for ten months as a Senior Fulbright Awardee at the International Graduate School in Zittau, Germany. The research, conducted in collaboration the German scientists, dealt with a recently discovered and unusual enzyme secreted by Agrocybe aegerita, otherwise known as the edible black poplar mushroom.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Kenneth Hammel 
Research Location : Global
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2010
Highlight ID : 176

Summary

Forest fungi perform an essential role in recycling woody plant debris and have many potential applications in biotechnology. In 2009, a Forest Products Laboratory chemist worked for ten months as a Senior Fulbright Awardee at the International Graduate School in Zittau, Germany. The research, conducted in collaboration the German scientists, dealt with a recently discovered and unusual enzyme secreted by Agrocybe aegerita, otherwise known as the edible black poplar mushroom. The results showed that this enzyme, known as a peroxygenase, degraded some ethers that have emerged as serious environmental pollutants. Notably, the peroxygenase oxidized dioxane and tetrahydrofuran, both of which are widespread groundwater contaminants. This work points out the importance of forest fungi as natural cleanup agents in the environment, and opens the possibility that their enzymes might be used to detoxify polluted water.

Research Topics

Priority Areas

  • Water, Air, and Soil
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